Examining Our Inputs

Philippians 4:8-9 ESV

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”

A long time ago my husband and I used to watch a lot of movies. We had grown up watching movies as children, and we continued the practice into our adult lives. Now back when we were children movies were usually only in the theatre or you could maybe get one a week on television, so not at all as it is today. And we didn’t really get into watching many movies probably until about 1988 when we discovered a VCR for the first time.

And at that time in my life I was going through menopause and my emotions were all over the place, and I had all sorts of things coming against me, and finally I caved to my circumstances, I let them get the best of me, and I yielded to the enemy of my soul on and off over a span of maybe seven years. And every time I tried to get back on track the enemy was slam dunking me and then I would cave again. Not pretty, I know.

But by the grace of God, the Lord brought me back, he revived my heart, and now I was back following him with my life and not caving to the enemy of my soul whose will it was to have me. And again I was walking in fellowship with my Lord, seeking his face, and following his will. And then, in the year 2004, the Lord called me to this present ministry, and that is when I got the most serious about following the Lord than ever before.

The Lord had been making a lot of changes in my life, and so I was backing away from many things I had allowed in my life during that time of moral failure, and I knew that most movies had to no longer be a part of my life, and I had really backed away from most of them. But then in 2008 I was encouraged to suggest to my husband that we examine our movies in light of this passage of Scripture in Philippians 4:8-9. And he agreed.

We had a collection of movies from over the years, so we pulled them all out, and one by one we examined their content in light of this passage, and I think when we finished that 2 movies remained. We literally threw all the rest of them in the trash. And I am not talking about filthy movies here, but family friendly entertainment mostly. When we really began to examine the content of these movies against this Scripture, they didn’t pass the test.

Why Tell You This?

So, why am I telling you all this? It is because Satan is a deceiver, and he deceives our minds into thinking things are good when they are not good. For a large portion of what we discovered in these movies that caused us to throw them out came as a surprise to us. And that is because the questionable content was hidden and disguised as something good and/or innocent. And so where we had seen them as good, they were not good.

For example, I grew up watching Shirley Temple movies on television and I just adored Shirley Temple. I love music, and she sang and she tap danced, and that is mostly what I was drawn to. But there was an underlying theme in most all of her movies. She usually played the role of a child who was being mistreated in some way, from what I recall, so she became rebellious, and she lied, and she did things she shouldn’t have done, and sometimes there were adults who helped her to be sneaky and underhanded.

But in the end she came out as the hero because she had conquered those in authority over her with her sneaky and underhanded schemes. And so these movies were glorifying and giving a stamp of approval on children being rebellious against those in authority over them and on them using trickery and lying and underhanded schemes in order to circumvent the authority that was over them. And that does not agree with this passage.

So, the encouragement here is that if we are going to apply this passage of Scripture to our lives, in truth, then we should be willing and ready to let the Holy Spirit walk with us through this passage, letting him examine our hearts and lives, and letting him point out to us where we are not doing what this says to do. And then we must be willing to do what he says, and to give up anything he says to give up that is opposed to this Scripture.

For, what we are taught in the Scriptures should become a reality in our everyday lives. And any of us can be deceived, especially if that deception happened early on in our lives and so we were blinded to it. So, if we are going to put into practice the truth of the Scriptures which are for us to obey, then we really need to open up our minds and hearts to letting the Holy Spirit reveal to us where we are deceived and where we need to change. And then we will be thinking on the right things.

[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

Have Thine Own Way, Lord

Words by Adelaide A. Pollard, 1907
Music by George C. Stebbins, 1907

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Thou art the potter, I am the clay.
Mold me and make me after Thy will,
While I am waiting, yielded and still.

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Search me and try me, Master, today!
Whiter than snow, Lord, wash me just now,
As in Thy presence humbly I bow.

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Wounded and weary, help me I pray!
Power, all power, surely is Thine!
Touch me and heal me, Savior divine!

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Hold o’er my being absolute sway.
Fill with Thy Spirit till all shall see
Christ only, always, living in me!

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